Declan pulled into the parking lot and parked his SUV. Nick waited to be dismissed, so he could collect his dinner, but instead Declan turned toward him and frowned. "I have three other wolves sharing guard duty of Miach, but ye're the only one who hasn't complained about the man. Why is that?"
Something in Nick's chest tightened and he had to swallow around his suddenly dry throat. He didn't want to talk about their charge with Declan, because he worried his alpha would finally decide it was more trouble than it was worth to keep the nearly silent enemy prisoner. And just the idea of having Miach gone sent Nick's pulse racing.
Over the last few weeks, they'd held the man against his will, locked in a fortified cabin deep in the woods that could only be accessed by quads or in animal form. Nick rotated guard duty with three other wolves. So far, none of them could get much out of Miach except his name and that he was allergic to peanuts.
Declan must have scented his sudden anxiety, because he reached over and squeezed his shoulder. "Ye're the only one he hasn't tried to escape on. Why is that, Nick?"
He glared at the dash, knowing his alpha needed an answer. He remembered hearing from his fellow guards each time Miach had tried to escape, once on each of the other three guards. Nick sighed and shook his head. "His comments don't seem to bother me nearly as much as the others," he said with a shrug.
"Does he insult shifters quite a bit still?" Declan asked.
Nick grimaced. "Not to me. I hear things every once in a while second hand from the others, but when I'm with him, he's pretty quiet. Miach just ... well, watches me," he admitted, running a hand through his strawberry locks, blowing out a breath in frustration.
His alpha squeezed his shoulder again, regaining his attention. "Tell me what's going on in that head of yers." This time, his alpha's Irish lilt held a clear command.
"I'm not certain why, but I feel attracted to him," he admitted. "I mean, he's a good looking guy, so that I feel something isn't really surprising, but even my wolf wants him."
Declan's dark eyes widened in what could only be shock. It wasn't an expression Nick had ever seen on his alpha's face before and his wolf whined in his head. He hunched his shoulders and dropped his gaze.
"By the gods," Declan whispered. "Is Miach yer mate?"
Grimacing, Nick shrugged forlornly. "I don't know. I can't really get near him, ya know?"
"He still keeps away from all of ye?" Declan questioned. "That's not the impression Kade gave me."
Nick smiled and scoffed. He'd heard the most complaints from his best friend. Miach always seemed to be in a bad mood when it was the older wolf's turn to watch him. "Yeah, they don't get along at all."
Declan turned and focused on the restaurant. After a moment of silence, a smile curved his features. "Ye know what they say, right?" Nick's confusion must have shown, because Declan's grin widened. "The way to a man's heart is through his stomach." He waved a hand toward the restaurant. "Take him supper."